Friday, March 19, 2010

Chicken 'n Dumplings

This was my favorite thing in the world when I was little and my roommate made it the other day and it was amazing. I had to share the recipe. She got it from a blog called which is a great site you should check out, but I posted the recipe here below.

Chicken and Dumplings with Leeks and Tarragon
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, February 2005

CI notes that you should not use low-fat or fat-free milk in this recipe, and that you should start the dumpling dough only when you’re ready to top the stew with the dumplings.

Serves 6 to 8

5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Table salt and ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 medium leeks , white and llight green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, minced
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen green peas
3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons reserved chicken fat (or unsalted butter)

1. For the stew: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the browned skin. Pour off the chicken fat and reserve. Return the pot to medium-high heat and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining chicken. Pour off and reserve any chicken fat.

2. Add the butter to the Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, milk, thyme, and bay leaves. Nestle the chicken, with any accumulated juices, into the pot. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 1 hour.

3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones, then return it to the stew.

4. For the dumplings: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and fat in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.

5. Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper. Following the steps below, drop golf-ball-sized dumplings over the top of the stew, about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 18 dumplings). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve.

To make the dumplings: Gather a golf-ball-sized portion of the dumpling batter onto a soup spoon, then push the dumpling onto the stew using a second spoon. Cover the stew with the dumplings, leaving about 1/4 inch between each. When fully cooked, the dumplings will have doubled in size.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Melting Pot Fondue recipes

Chocolate Turtle Fondue

1 bag good chocolate chips(16 oz)
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup or more to taste prepared carmel sauce
handful toasted pecans

Melt Chocolate chips and whipping cream together over LOW heat.  Stir constantly until smooth.  Turn off heat and transfer to fondue pot.  Right before serving, pour carmel sauce right in the middle of the pot and sprinkle toasted pecans over the whole top.  Then swirl in the carmel with fondue skewer and it looks all swirly and pretty.

Cheddar Beer fondue

1 cup beer
spoonful crushed garlic
1 Tbsp flour
1 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
1 1/4 cup swiss cheese shredded
1 tsp dry mustard powder
2 shakes worcestershire sauce

Heat Beer and garlic in a sauce pan.  Simmer about 3 minutes to burn off alcohol.  On a separate plate or in a bowl toss the shredded cheeses with the flour until coated.  Slowly add the cheese in handful stirring constantly until smooth.  Stir in mustard powder and worcestershire sauce until well combined.  Transfer to fondue pot and keep warm stirring every once in awhile so the bottom doesn't burn.  NOTE:  If you have to add more cheese to get it to the correct thickness, make sure to toss it in more flour before adding.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Moules marniere

Every once in a while I just crave this dish. Costco sells a 5lb bag of mussels for $10, and they are debearded which makes it a lot easier. Eat with french bread and a salad. Mom asked for it so here goes, so easy and delicious.

3 Tbsp butter
1 Onion
4 cloves garlic minced
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
4 lbs mussels
1 1/2 C white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 C heavy cream

1. Melt butter, sautee onion, garlic, and herbs till onion is soft in a large pot
2. add wine, cream, salt and pepper, bring to a boil
3. add mussels (debearded and rinsed) cover over medium-high 5-8 minutes or until all shells have opened.
4. garnish with parsley and lemon, sop juices with bread.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Strawberry or Raspberry Soup

2 pints fresh berries, washed
2 cups sour cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup gingerale
1/4 cup sugar
2 TB fresh lemon juice
strawberry or raspberry jam to taste
In a food processor puree the berries until smooth.
Strain through a fine sieve to remove seeds.
Whisk the remaining ingredients in, adding the jam last to desired sweetness. Chill and serve cold.

From the cruise where we drank this stuff until we just had to buy the recipe book to have the recipe or die! (except we added the jam idea!)